News briefs

Citywide bicycle scavenger hunt planned for June

Uptown-based health care co-op Everspring Health is on a mission to promote healthy lifestyle choices, and the young healthcare company has created an event designed to get the whole city moving.

Bike Twin Cities is a citywide, summer-long bicycle scavenger hunt that aims to get players riding around, interacting with local businesses and deciphering clues at bike-accessible outdoor locations.

Bike Twin Cities kicks off on June 1 and runs through the end of August.

During its run, players can get a clue from participating businesses around Minneapolis, which will direct them to a location somewhere in the city. Once the clue is deciphered, the player must take a photo of his or herself with the clue and a bike.

To get all three elements in the photo, you’ll likely need to ride with a friend — and that’s exactly the point. Bike Twin Cities isn’t just for hardcore bikers, but for their casual-riding friends as well.

That’s why two grand prizes are being given away. One on One Bike Studio will give away a new bicycle to the first person to find every clue, as well as another to a random player who finds five clues or more. Both the die-hard cyclists and casual players will have a chance to win.

John Blaska, president of Everspring Health and creator of Bike Twin Cities, has said he hopes to have between 20 and 50 retail partners involved with the inaugural Bike Twin Cities event. Participating retailers may be offering special deals to players, and Blaska is pursuing primarily independent, locally owned shops. While Blaska is still recruiting partners, he already has about a dozen on board, including The Wedge co-op.

The partnership with The Wedge is a natural fit for Everspring Health, which is why Blaska pursued the grocery store for Bike Twin Cities’ first partner. Like The Wedge, Everspring is a nonprofit co-op.

But rather than healthy foods, Everspring members get discounts on acupuncture, chiropractic care and lifestyle consulting.

“Our mission is quality of life,” said Blaska, who spent several years traveling the world studying various forms of healing before founding Everspring in 2008. “We try to get people to make informed choices about their health. That’s where the idea for Bike Twin Cities came from. Our mission is to get people out and having fun.”

For more information follow Bike Twin Cities on Twitter @BikeTwinCities.

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Rock the Garden and Block Party lineups revealed

Looking to pick up tickets for The Current and Walker Art Center’s annual outdoor concert Rock the Garden? Too bad. All 9,000 tickets sold to MPR and Walker members before any were made available to the public.

The concert will be held in the Sculpture Garden on June 18 and feature performances by local band Tapes ‘n Tapes, Neko Case, the legendary Booker T. Jones and headliners My Morning Jacket.

If you’re broken up about not getting a ticket, never fear: The Current will be giving away tickets closer to the event.

While Rock the Garden may be sold out, tickets are still available for the city’s other big outdoor concert, the Basilica Block Party. The 17th annual concert will be held on Saturday, July 8 and Sunday, July 9 at the Basilica of Saint Mary.

Tickets went on sale on May 7, with single-night passes available for $40 or two-day passes for $70. Performers include David Gray, Lissie, Michael Franti and Spearhead, Amos Lee, Drive-By Truckers and more.

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MPLS.TV launches Bike City web series

Local online video site MPLS.TV is home to videos about Minneapolis’ music, arts, comedy and fashion scenes, and now a new series about the local cycling community has been added to the mix. The first episode of Bike City launched on April 25, hosted by Gene Oberpriller, co-owner of One on One Bike Studio. The series will focus on both bicycle maintenance and the unique cycle culture that make Minneapolis the top biking city in the country. The first episode features instructions by Oberpriller on how to fix a flat tire and highlights last February’s Stupor Bowl, the annual winter bike race/bar crawl.

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Fit Tourist bringing guided bike tours to Minneapolis

Minneapolis may be the best cycling city in the country, but much of what makes it a great place to ride may not be immediately obvious if you’re new to the city. The Fit Tourist aims to change that.

While living in Europe, co-founder Sandy Schreyer took bicycle tours of many cities and found herself wishing she could do the same whenever she visited Minneapolis. “I’d come here and say ‘I wish I had a bike, because this is such a great place to ride,’” she says. While there are plenty of places to rent a bicycle, no one in the city offered guided tours. So when Schreyer relocated to Minneapolis last December, she formed The Fit Tourist with her business partner Stephanie Croteau.

The Fit Tourist will hold its first group tour on May 13. The company has multiple types of tours planned, including tours of Downtown and the Minnehaha Falls area. The Fit Tourist also plans to offer customized tours, and hopes to show visitors “a little entertainment, a little history, and some hidden gems.”

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Crime alert issued after string of Uptown robberies

Minneapolis police issued a crime alert May 10 following a string of aggravated assaults and robberies in the Uptown area.

“This is an unusual trend for the [5th Precinct] and especially for Uptown,” the alert says.

The May 3–9 crime map prepared by the city shows an unusual concentration of robberies in Lowry Hill East, CARAG and surrounding neighborhoods.

On May 5, a robbery was reported near 29th & Hennepin at 11 p.m., then another was reported at 32nd & Girard 45 minutes later. Earlier the same day a robbery was reported near 27th & Pillsbury.

May 8 and May 9, robberies were reported near 28th & the Greenway, 25th & Colfax, 32nd & Bryant and 27th & Lyndale.

In the recent string of incidents, police say victims were assaulted from behind; suspect descriptions vary; incidents generally occurred between 11 p.m. and 2 a.m.; and in one incident, an assault may have included brass knuckles.

According to the city’s alert, reported crime statistics for aggravated assaults and robberies in Uptown show that there have only been two more aggravated assaults and robberies in the area than at this time last year, but precinct-wide, robbery arrests are up 64 percent and aggravated assault arrests are up 40 percent.

In the alert, police advise pedestrians to stay in well-lit areas, walk in groups if possible, and “be aware of your ability to focus,” as “in the past, intoxication has been a factor in the vulnerability of pedestrians.”

Police encourage anyone with information about the incidents to call the MPD Tips Line at 692-8477.

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Olson moving to Ford Center

Prepare to say goodbye to the familiar brick man atop Loring Corners. After years at its current location, advertising and marketing firm Olson is preparing to move to the Ford Center in early 2012.

The firm required more space with room to grow after several years of expansion, and its new location offers 125,000 square feet across four and a half floors and a rooftop deck. Olson is working with preservationists to retain the character of the historic building, which was originally a showroom and vehicle assembly plant.

“There’s a common connection between where we are and where we’re going,” says Olsen CEO Kevin DiLorenzo. “One of the reasons we’re so associated with Loring Corners is that we moved in when it was an emerging neighborhood and we helped create its identity. Now there’s a lot of attention on other emerging neighborhoods, and the area by Target Field definitely is one. So we’re excited to join another emerging neighborhood and help it develop.”